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Could anyone advise me on how best to seal the inside of a paper mache mask?
I recently made a mask using wheat paste. I had read that adding salt to the paste would help in preventing mold, so i did that. I live in a hot, humid climate. So far so good, the mask is a a couple of months old, and while it's lost its shape a little, I see no mold. I would like to seal it, though, to be on the safe side. I'll probably use paint or Mod Podge on the outside, but on the inside, i e the part that touches the face (and it's a close-fitting mask) I would like to use something that I know will not be harmful to my skin. I have considered Mod Podge as it's supposedly non-toxic, but I think that it might feel kind of sticky. Another thought was maybe to paint it with a couple of layers of plaster of paris. Or maybe use plaster gauze?
I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
I think several coats of real shellac would probably be best, and safest.
Real shellac is made from a resin secreted by the female lac bug, mixed with alcohol, but the alcohol evaporates as it dries (quickly, 30 min or so), and what's left is non-toxic, so you wouldn't be absorbing anything nasty through your skin.
The main brand of the real stuff in the U.S. seems to be Zinsser® Bulls Eye Shellac, easily available in hardware stores. It only stores in the can for about one year, so don't buy in bulk unless you plan to use a LOT of it.
Synthetic shellacs are made from synthetic plastic lacquers, and it's usually a good idea to be cautious about them.